What's the buzz...

BP drugs could help beat Alzheimer’s

A group of drug used to combat low blood pressure can help slow the rate of cognitive decline typical of dementia, a research has suggested.

According to research, these drugs, known as ACE inhibitors, could even boost brain power.

The researchers compared the rates of cognitive decline in 361 patients who had either been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, vascular dementia, or a mix of both.
Eighty five of the patients were already taking ACE inhibitors; the rest were not.

The researchers also assessed the impact of ACE inhibitors on the brain power of 30 patients newly prescribed these drugs, during their first six months of treatment. The average age of all the participants was 77. Between 1999 and 2010, the cognitive decline of each patient was assessed using either the Standardised Mini Mental State Examination (SMMSE) or the Quick Mild Cognitive Impairment (Qmci) screen on two separate occasions, six months apart.

Compared with those not taking ACE inhibitors, those on these drugs experienced marginally slower rates of cognitive decline.

In those whose brain power had been assessed by Qmci, which is a more sensitive screen than the SMMSE, the difference was small, but significant. And the brain power of those patients newly prescribed ACE inhibitors actually improved over the six month period, compared with those already taking them, and those not taking them at all.

Spending time outdoors may improve veterans’ health

Veterans who participate in outdoor excursions enjoy better mental health than their peers who are confined indoors, according to a new study.

Veterans were surveyed before and after a multi-day wilderness recreation experience, which involved camping and hiking in groups of between six and 12 participants. More than half of participants reported that they frequently experienced physical or mental health problems in everyday life.

One week after the experience, veterans reported a greater than 10 percent improvement in several measures of psychological well-being, a 9 percent increase in social functioning, and a nearly 8 percent gain in positive life outlook. In some cases, the results persisted over the next month.

"The findings suggest that extended group-based nature recreation can have significant positive impacts on veterans struggling with serious health problems," said Jason Duvall, a research scientist at the U-M School of Natural Resources and Environment and one of the study's lead authors.

North Pole is now a swimming pool

New photographs released by scientists have shown the ice cap at the North Pole melting away - and turning into a vast lake, sparking fears about climate change.
The images taken in April show a buoy used to measure climate change sitting on top of the Arctic ice but in the next image taken July 13 the buoy is seen floating in a huge pool of water while the permafrost has disappeared, the Sun reported.

It is believed that the lake is going to grow larger when predicted Arctic storms hit in the coming weeks, loosening the ice banks even further.

The melting of ice took place because of summer temperatures soaring to 3 degree Celsius, which is way above the normal average of 0 degree Celsius.

Scientists have warned that the melting of the permafrost is going to speed up global warming; they believe that a total loss of ice in the summer months will be costing 39 trillion pounds.

According to experts, the melting of ice caps is  going to see huge amounts of methane gas being released into the atmosphere, which will help speed up climate change which will result in more flooding and droughts across the world.

Comments (+)